Lakers Rumors: How Andrew Bynum Extension Would Impact Dwight Howard

The Los Angeles Lakers covet All-Star center Dwight Howard, but recent developments may force the team to abandon any plans of adding the elite pivot. 

According to Kevin Ding, a reporter for The Orange County Register, the Lakers are exploring in-house options:

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak spoke today with Andrew Bynum's agent David Lee about a contract extension for Bynum.

— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) July 25, 2012 Bynum has been considered the centerpiece for a potential Howard deal for what seems like forever, and it makes sense. He's the only NBA center who comes close to Howard's talent. In fact, on the offensive end, he may even be better than Howard.

This news comes on the heels of what ESPN reporter Chris Broussard had to say about Howard's status on Tuesday:

The Orlando Magic have told rival executives that they might not trade Dwight Howard after all, according to league sources.

An executive who has had discussions with the Magic regarding Howard said Orlando only will trade the star center in a deal that is great for the franchise. The executive said this has been Orlando's stance for the past "week or so."

Any inkling of Howard staying in Orlando makes a Bynum extension the right move for Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, but how would it impact Howard? 

Let's take a look.


Best Deal is Off the Table

This impacts Howard indirectly, but Bynum was Magic general manager Rob Hennigan's only chance at a fair deal. Superstar centers don't grow on trees, and Bynum is the only prayer Orlando has at replacing Howard's production down low. 

Once Bynum signs an extension, you can forget about it. Kupchak wouldn't extend Bynum only to ship him off. An extension is designed to repair Bynum's connection with the Lakers and show the team's faith in him as a long-term fit in LA. 
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers